Sometimes life sucks.
Last week I found out that a former colleague and good friend, Af, has cancer. He is twenty-nine. He also happens to be just about the funniest, most inspirational person I’ve ever known. Many – including me – talk about the need to grab life by the scruff of the neck, to savour the magic moments and to make the most of the wonderful opportunities that life presents us with; to see hardships as challenges from which we can learn, grow and, hopefully, inspire and motivate others through our example.
Nobody embodies this more than Af. Climbing mountains, volunteering at the Olympic Games, taking on huge challenges to raise money for charity, making people laugh via his stand-up comedy – this guy has it all. And he has cancer.
What he also has is amazing strength of character, determination, the support of countless friends and loved ones, a positive attitude and the fighting spirit needed to kick cancer’s ass. And in doing so, through his wonderful attitude he will inspire countless others to face their own challenges with the same spirit that he has.
Below is the post that Af shared on Facebook to announce the shocking news of his diagnosis.
Af – you’re my hero.
You Got This!
Afs next challenge- Cancer!
Yep, you read that correctly.
I found out Monday that I have Cancer and I start treatment tomorrow.
“F*ck!” Yeah, That’s what I said too.
“Sh*t” yeah I said that too.
After thinking I had an infection on Thursday I went to a Hospital in Rio de Janeiro to ask for some antibiotics as was flying to Argentina the next day to start my travelling adventure of South America.
After some tests and scans I was told that I had a tumour and I flew back to England the next day and landed at Heathrow Saturday afternoon.
Monday I saw a consultant and then had an ultrasound and a CT scan which confirmed it.
Unfortunately, the primary Cancer had spread to a secondary place in my body.
Tomorrow morning, I have surgery in Dorset County Hospital to cut out the first bit of the big C. and then I am hoping to start Chemotherapy next week to zap the rest.
I know this is a bit of a shock and is making people sad but team, we got this. My Family and friends have been brilliant and I know they will continue to support me and make me laugh along the way.
Last week I was climbing mountains in Brazil and now I am about to start climbing my next mountain just of a different kind.
Tomorrow I will be in surgery and I’m hoping I wake up in time to watch Southampton play Sparta Prague in the Europa League. If I am not, then I’ll watch the highlights so please don’t anyone tell me the scores.
Always a firm believer that everything happens for a reason and this is just another one of those life challenges that we will complete together.
So far, I have been positive most of the time and I intend to keep it that way. I’m sure I’ll have down days.
Someone asked me after the Olympics what was your summer experience like on a scale of 1-10.
I said instantly “A 10 of course. But I said, every day is a 10 no matter what I’m doing, we’re living aren’t we, what a time to be alive?”
Ok maybe being told you have cancer was about a 7 out of 10 that day but still.
So…………………. We’re going on an adventure and you’re all invited to come on this one with me. If you don’t think you can do anything to help then you’ll be surprised of the power a simple text will do.
You never know what’s around the corner and life is the most precious and glorious thing. So if there’s anything to come out of this post and my experience, go make sure you tell someone that you love them tonight!
Lots of Love. Afsheen
What a time to be alive !!!!!!!!!
Af has an infectious passion for life and together we share a passion for boxing through which life conspired for our paths to cross. And now I find myself joining the legion of friends and family in Af’s corner for the biggest fight of his life, taking a ringside seat for what, on paper, looks like a mismatch:
Cancer, you’ve picked on the wrong dude this time and you’re in way over your head – Af’s gonna beat your ass!
Former World Heavyweight Champion Jack Dempsey famously said that a champion is somebody that gets up when he can’t.
“A champion is somebody that gets up when he can’t.” – Jack Dempsey via @3DMathW (Click to Tweet!)
Af, my friend, ‘You Got This’ champ!
Matthew Williams, single father to two children and divorced ex-husband to an ex-wife, started the blog ‘Love, Laughter & Truth‘ in December 2015. The blog is an attempt to make sense of his rollercoaster life following depression, divorce, and his introduction to the weird – and sometimes wonderful – world of dating. He hopes that his writing will help others that find themselves dealing with similar challenges in life. You can find Matthew on his blog and follow him on Facebook & Twitter.